How and Why to Use a Refrigerator Freezer Thermometer

Why Use A Refrigerator Freezer Thermometer?

When lettuce freezes in the back of the fridge because it's too cold it becomes a wilted soggy mess, when milk gets too warm it can spoil.

Similarly, a freezer that is too cold takes more energy to run and a freezer that is too warm reduces the amount of time you can store frozen foods.

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Using a thermometer helps you to control the temperature and is more accurate than setting the dial on your fridge or freezer and hoping it's the right one.

How to Use a Refrigerator Freezer Thermometer.

Place the thermometer in the fridge or freezer and shut the door.

It will take a few hours with the door closed to get an accurate reading thus the best time to check the temperature is first thing in the morning.

Be aware that fridges and freezers have warm spots and cold spots.

The back and bottom tend to be colder whereas the shelves in the door are warmer especially as the door gets opened during the day.

Try to find the best balance between these two extremes as you adjust and test your settings.

Ideal Fridge and Freezer Temperatures.

The ideal temperature in your fridge is between 35 and 38 F or 4-5 C.

This keeps foods too warm to freeze and cold enough to stay out of the danger zone and slow bacteria growth.

The ideal freezer temperature is 0F or -23 C.

This is cold enough to freeze foods for long term storage and inhibits bacteria growth until the food is thawed or cooked.

Types of Refrigerator Freezer Thermometers.

Stainless steel V Plastic: Stainless steel and plastic are good choices because you don't have to worry about rust.

Glass is also OK but breaks easier.

Digital V Dial:

Both work just as well.

Pick whichever type you prefer to read.

Mercury Free:

If you can get a mercury free thermometer do it.

Just another little step toward saving the planet.


Some thermometers have alarms built in that go off when the temperature gets too high.

This is a good feature if you have problems with people shutting the door all the way.

If power outs are your biggest problem, however, you'll probably know about the power out from the other appliances in the house before your freezer warms up to a dangerous temperature.

Learn more about freezer cooking.

Got questions? Ask me your freezer cooking questions and get answers.

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